A new trial has found that olmesartan, a commonly used drug for treating high blood pressure, can play an effective role in reducing coronary plaque.
Titled 'Impact of Olmesartan on progression of coronary atherosclerosis', the trial was conducted on 247 angina patients with native coronary artery lesions.
The scientists randomly assigned patients, to receive 20-40mg/day of olmesartan or control.
The participants were then treated with a combination of b-blockers, calcium channel blockers, diuretics, nitrates, glycemic control agents and/or statins per physician's guidance.
Later, Serial Intravenous Ultrasound (IVUS) examinations were performed to assess the amount of coronary plaque before, and 14 months after the start of treatment.
Patient characteristics and all IVUS measurements were identical between the two groups, at the start of the trial. However, after 14 months, IVUS showed significant decreases in measurements of plaque volume in the olmesartan group, despite similar blood pressure readings.
Also, with the help of multivariate analysis, the researchers found that olmesartan administration was one of the factors that caused the decrease in plaque volume.
"Management of plaque is a key front in the war on sudden heart attack. These results suggest a positive role in potential plaque regression through the administration of olmesartan, an angiotension-II receptor blocking agent, for patients with stable angina pectoris," said Dr. Atsushi Hirohata, Cardiovascular Medicine, the Sakakibara Heart Institute of Okayama, Okayama, Japan and lead author of the study.
The study was presented at the 20th annual Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics (TCT) scientific symposium, sponsored by the Cardiovascular Research Foundation (CRF).